Elevation: 3,987 ft
GPS: 33.273, -111.048 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 52,705 total · 491/month
Shared By: arjunmh on Nov 22, 2011
Admins: Aaron Mc, Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick
Access Issue: Must Register! Private Property-The Pond, Atlantis and Mine Area Details


The Refuge is the valley of Upper Hackberry Creek. We had a great year and a half of developing routes here and are now happy to put these routes out there for more enjoyment. We named it The Refuge as it is not only a refuge from the mining exploration, but also is a particularly peaceful and wildlife-filled region. While it lacks the running water of Devils Creek, it shows obvious signs of plentiful groundwater and hosts all sorts of wildlife beyond cattle. The road through The Refuge connects with a better-traveled dirt road that comes in off 177 and is a fun 4WD adventure trip.

There are currently four climbing areas in the Refuge, listed here from north to south (see map): Dog Town; The Torch; Faulty Towers; and Godhead, which is further divided as Godhead North and Godhead South. There is now also an area between the two, Heaven's Gate, that is not shown on the area map in the mini guide. Each area has separate trails in and there are three easy parking areas. We are projecting in other areas and now have an updated mini guide. There are over 80 climbs set and ready for you to explore. The approaches to the various climbing areas are short and easy to find with cairns. We hope you enjoy!

Please thank Geir Hundal for posting our mini-guide to this area! Also thanks Melina Lew for much improving the original mini guide with her editing and graphic arts skills.

The NEW (August 5, 2012) mini guide is posted here:


And, note that the original guide is still posted at:


Rock: Rock quality is mixed, ranging from superb for the north facing climbs to quite poor for some of the south- and west-facing climbs. We have done a lot of work cleaning the loose rock away, but there is always the potential for loose holds to remain. Climbs will naturally improve with more use: so, don’t shy away from them. By and large, the quality of climbing is surprisingly good.

Ethic: We follow traditional climbing guidelines when setting these climbs by going ground-up and placing bolts only when needed. Note that if the rock quality is poor we will only put in a bolt if we had a 5.5” bolt handy. There are just a few exceptions with some harder routes that we decided to bolt entirely and we call these routes “Sport.”

Anchors: We have adapted the EFR approach to top anchors: in most cases we use two hangers with quick links and carabiners (standard). In some cases chain is added to decrease rope drag. When a top belay is advised only two hangers with quick links to rap rings are rigged.

NOTE: THE ANCHOR BINERS ARE NOT BOOTY!! Please leave in place. Copying Marcy's photo from LDE, this is what a typical anchor with biners in place looks like unless we've gotten around to painting it. Please follow the ethic of LDE and if you see worn biners replace them or let us know. Thanks and enjoy!

LDE anchor by Marcy as a good example.
geir.com/refugeclimbing.pdf http://www.geir.com/refugeclimbing.pdf

Getting There

The Refuge can be accessed from the same gravel road that heads off south from the Magma Mine paved road that you would take to get to all other Lower Devils Canyon climbing areas. At the base of the steep switchbacks turn right on a gravel road—this portion of the road looks like a wash but is actually Hackberry Creek— that heads up the valley that you would have been looking south into as you descended the switchbacks; the stock pond and the windmill can be viewed ahead of you. This valley is the upper extent (headwaters) of Hackberry Creek. Please refer to the overview location map to see how The Refuge is oriented relative to the better-known landmarks for LD.

119 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Refuge

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